The British Columbia Governor General Wine Awards results came out this week and I am pleased to see that four wines from Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery picked up Gold and Silver medals. I am tasting their Silver award-winning Interurban Cabernet Foch 2020. I am also tasting their Royal Engineers Petit Verdot 2020 (Their 2019 Petit Verdot was in the competition and won a Gold medal).
All wines made at Seaside Pearl are in small lots, around 110 cases each. Making wines in very limited quantities allows their winemaker, David Zimmerman, to achieve an intimate level of knowledge about every varietal’s unique nuances. You may also notice that both bottles come under a screwcap. I like that the winery shows that top-quality wines can be sold with a screwcap closure.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Interurban Cabernet Foch 2020 (BC $34 at the Tasting Room)
Only 100 cases of this wine are produced. On the back label, Seaside Pearl notes about the Interurban, “The B.C. Electric Railway was an historic railway that link Chilliwack to Vancouver through Mt. Lehman. With the arrival of the ‘Interurban’ railway in 1910, the community became less dependent on the Fraser’s paddle-wheelers to take their milk and produce to market. Fondly known as the ‘milk run’, the ‘Interurban’ provided service twice daily throughout the valley until 1952…”
Appearance: A deep garnet colour, about 25% opaque but it is clear to the core.
Nose: A medium-intensity nose with evolving aromas of vanilla, coffee, red fruits, and leather. No change to the aromas after decanting.
Palate: This wine is dry, with a medium-plus body and flavour intensity. Medium intensity bright acidity and medium tannins. A smooth, thicker, round mouthfeel. Coffee, smoky berries, black plums, red fruit and a touch of oak on the palate. There is less red fruit and more black fruit flavours, plus a add a touch of capsicum with decanting.
Finish: Medium-plus length finishing with red fruit, smoky and sweet berries, touches of cedar, coffee, toffee, and candied cherries. A touch of leather and less red fruit flavours after decanting.
Having coffee and leather may sound odd when you describe a wine, but this is quite a nice complement to the fruit aromas and flavours in the wine. I enjoy the wine both without decant and decanted. If you prefer darker fruits, decant the wine.
Rating: A deep garnet colour with medium intensity nose, mixing coffee, red fruits and leather aromas. This wine is dry, with a smooth, thicker, round mouthfeel. Coffee, some smokiness and a mix of red and black fruit flavours depending on decanting. Medium-plus length.
Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Royal Engineers Petit Verdot 2020 (BC ~$40)
Only 111 cases of this wine are produced. Seaside Pearl writes about The Royal Engineers Petit Verdot that it “…was named after the Royal Engineers, the tiny military force that served during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. With their splendid scarlet jackets, the 220 men of the Royal Engineers, commonly known as “Sappers” laid the foundation for much of British Columbia by building roads, producing maps, surveying land and settling miner’s disputes. In 1864, Royal Engineer Alben Hawkins arrived to survey the area now called Mount Lehman and took up residence on the bluff above the southern bank of the Fraser River.“
Appearance: An opaque dull garnet colour. Opaque almost to the rim.
Nose: Nice, medium-intensity aromas of toast, sweet species, black fruits and black plums, sweet spices, nutmeg in particular, and touches of vanilla and oak. The wine maybe shows a bit more fruit aromas with decanting.
Palate: Dry, light mouthfeel, lightly round to lean. The wine gets smoother with swirling. Medium-plus flavour intensity. The tannins start off light but get stronger with swirling and increase toward the finish. Black fruit, plums, raspberries, and touches of red cherries, violets and oak flavours. The wine gets slightly bigger and round, with sweeter fruit flavours and firmer tannins with decanting. More black fruit flavours and less cherries and violets on the palate.
Finish: A medium-plus length finishing with firmer tannins, light pepperiness, tart black fruit, black cherries, and raspberries. More black fruit and sweet fruit flavours on the finish with decanting.
If you prefer a wine with a bigger, round mouthfeel and more black fruit flavours, decant this wine, otherwise, open and enjoy.
Rating: Opaque garnet colour. Medium-intensity aromas of black fruits and plums along with toast and sweet spices. Dry with a light to medium body, depending on decanting. Black fruits, plums and raspberry flavours. Medium acidity and tannins. Medium-plus length.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can purchase the 2019 Petit Verdot at the winery website:
I am not sure when the 2020 Petit Verdot will be listed on their website. The Cabernet Foch is in such a limited production that the only way to buy this wine is in-person at their Tasting Room in Abbotsford, so make it a weekend trip to visit the winery and all that the Fraser Valley has to offer.